Local municipalities may postpone today's elections due to blizzard

·2 min read

Regina– After a major blizzard shut down highways, blew in roads, caused power outages and walloped much of central Saskatchewan in over a foot of snow, the provincial government is allowing municipalities to postpone their local elections today, despite polls having already opened.

In a press release issued at 9:50 a.m. on election day, Monday, Nov. 9, the province said, “Due to the record-setting snowfall and hazardous conditions on Saskatchewan roads, the Government of Saskatchewan is authorizing municipalities and school divisions to postpone their elections, where conducting a general election is being significantly impeded by the weather.

“Given the uncertainty of the situation and because not all municipalities may be affected to the same extent, a Ministerial Order has been signed by Government Relations Minister Lori Carr to allow each municipality’s appointed returning officer to postpone the elections.”

This Order allows: “If in the opinion of a Returning Officer appointed under the Act, the weather conditions on November 9, 2020, impede the ability for voters to attend the poll(s) in order to vote, including in situations where voting day polls have already opened, the Returning Officer may postpone the general election of the municipality, school division or ward, as the case may be, scheduled to take place on November 9, 2020 to a date on or before November 25, 2020.”

This Order does not mean elections across the province are postponed, rather each local returning officer will have the authority to postpone an election if needed. Local returning officers should exercise this authority with caution and clearly communicate with their citizens regarding any changes in their election day.

The safety of citizens is the first priority of the Government of Saskatchewan, the release noted. “In signing this order, safety can also continue to be ensured at a local level during these elections,” it concluded.

Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury